This occurs at the end of the international phase of a PCT international application (typically 30 months from the priority date). The applicant has the option of progressing the application in individual countries and/or a number of specially defined regions. To enter the national phase in a country means that the international application has been converted into the equivalent of a national patent application and will be prosecuted through to grant in a similar way. This is where the cost of the PCT procedure substantially increases, primarily due to the appointment of local patent attorneys and translation requirements.
Non-Disclosure Agreement is an agreement between two or more parties that places a duty on each party not to disclose the contents of a conversation to anyone outside of the agreement.
Novelty is one of the requirements for patentability. An invention must be new, i.e. unique. There are different standards for determining the novelty of an invention across the world. Under UK patent law, an invention must not have been publicly disclosed anywhere in the world before the date of filing the patent application.